Any band in the hard rock genre prides themselves on writing the type of songs that could scare you to death. Some bands never stray from their brand of ferocious hard rock that they can almost do no wrong in their confined bubble of musical kickass. So, what happens when the writers of these heavy songs write slowburns?
Even though the pedigree for any rock band is how loud or fast their riffs are, the best opportunity for bands to show their true artistry is when they go into a room with an acoustic guitar and hammer out a tune. It's never an easy decision to go acoustic for a track. With the song completely bare, the performer is left essentially naked as they have to let their song stand on its own without any grandiose additions. That doesn't mean the greats of the genre haven't stepped up to the challenge though.
All across the hard rock spectrum, artists have come out with songs that have both the same musical punch as a rocker while not being too over-the-top to constitute being a glossy power ballad. These songs are proof that underneath the hood, these bands have an extremely solid sonic foundation when left with only their bare essentials.
10. Hard Luck Woman - KISS
After the raving success of the band's live album Alive!, KISS were suddenly on the fast track to rock and roll stardom. The band doubled down on the bombast with their next album Destroyer before settling into a groove of writing a more hard-hitting form of the standard rock and roll format.
As the band started selecting songs for the album Rock and Roll Over, Paul Stanley had written a song that he thought would be suited to Rod Stewart. Once the band heard it on Stanley's original demo, the tune quickly went into the collective KISS mind, with the band breaking out the acoustic material and playing a more straightforward ballad. Given his vocal timbre, drummer Peter Criss was called upon to sing the song because of his raspy voice, which sounded the closest to Stewart's vocal style.
Rather than pulling from the rock and roll well of songwriting topics like freedom, drinking, and partying, this song is a breezy tale about the daughter of a sailors who has fallen on hard times. The slice-of-life vocal delivered with a man in full rock makeup was something unusual yet incredibly endearing for the time. A lowlight in the band's discography that shows their artistic flexibility beyond power chord ragers.